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New project

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walsh.ryanmj:
Hi WXForum,
Iím a new member of the forum and working on a new project. The idea is for an online marketplace where users can place bets on the weather - temperature, precipitation, and more. This could both be entertaining and generate broader interest for the environment, the weather, and our planet. There are changing laws and attitudes around gambling across the US, and that could make this a viable concept I havenít seen anywhere else.
I would be glad to get peopleís thoughts. Iíve brought this up to a few weatherheads like myself, and some are really intrigued! Anything we do will be within the boundaries of the law. However before we explore that we should get a wider sense of interest.
Iím getting an email chain going for now, and weíll see where we can take it. Feel free to message me if any of this interests you. Thanks all!

Garth Bock:
Would you be taking money for the wagers and paying out the same ? Or is this just a "fun" just for entertainment thing with no money changing  hands ?
If you are monetizing this then I can't see how this will raise awareness. Addicted gamblers will bet on anything in hopes of winning regardless of the cause. Also in some states gambling is being restricted. Recently, Missouri started cracking down on the video poker machines in gas stations and bars. Laws are not relaxing as much as you think. As far as I knew online gambling is illegal or tightly controlled. You are wading into some very deeply legal waters.
https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/gambling#:~:text=The%20Department%20of%20Justice%20maintains,%2C%20110th%20Cong.%2C%20Nov.

True weather enthusiasts you will find are more interested in providing a service and getting the most out of their equipment not placing bets on the variability of weather.

One thing that you don't know about is microclimates. It could rain heavily in one spot and merely 20 feet away be dry. There are too many variables to account for that makes this scheme ridiculous. Also how do you know the measurements are truly accurate? You are opening yourself up to a lot of legal problems. You would do better on taking wagers if Trump is going to send a mean Tweet or Biden is going trip and fall.

walsh.ryanmj:
I could see money changing hands - that makes it more interesting and it is entertainment. However I'm open to whatever people would want to see out of it.
It sounds like we have a different view on betting and I'm not trying to argue. I do see things changing though - where I live in Massachusetts, two years ago you couldn't bet on sports online. Now it's everywhere and growing. I wouldn't want to fuel anybody's destructive addiction either, and any sites have disclaimers all over the place about that. Again, I view gambling as entertainment - anything I put down I'm not trying to win back.
I could see us using public observations & measurements from NOAA to determine official data & winners/losers.

Garth Bock:
Two things....what weather station(s) will you be using the data from ? Will you be compensating the owner of that station for using their data for your money making scheme? If it were mine I would want a "piece of the action" (STOS). My station is for providing my local climate information to others climate services and I don't want it's data used for someone to make a quick buck off of and I get nothing. However, I find the whole idea of betting on the weather silly.

Are you going to be issuing IRS form W2-G to your gamblers ? If not, well, you are asking for some big trouble. Also did you know that online gambling is illegal in... Alabama, Alaska, California, Idaho, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont ? You need to research your hustle a bit more. It doesn't sound like you have all your info. together.

walsh.ryanmj:
On the weather.gov website, NOAA publishes hourly observations for nearly every airport in the US. The way I see, that would be our initial basis.

Anything we do will be well within the confines of the law. We haven't even gotten started yet.

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